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Community Wildlife Management in Southern Africa. A regional review

Working paper, 35 pages
PDF  7805IIED.pdf (159.3 KB)

Southern Africa is extremely varied in its range of ecosystems and its distribution of human populations. As the area moves further into a post-colonial, post-apartheid era, interest in sustainable use of natural resources has been heightened. In fact, in many cases wildlife management, including sport hunting and/or tourism, can often be the highest valued form of land use for non-arable land. ~The report gives a brief review of the extent and progress of community wildlife management (CWM) in the seven countries of southern Africa - Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It includes a summary of supporting legislation for CWM projects and the extent of project establishment. Key emerging issues are discussed. These range from, amongst many, land tenure and conservation/biodiversity impacts, to participation and vertical/horizontal integration. In addition, strengths and weaknesses in existing knowledge are indicated.~The report concludes that the diversity of perspectives and approaches in the area has allowed for a rich variety of CWM initiatives to develop. However, a number of common features are shared - an interest in adaptive management; a focus on the ecosystem level rather than at the species level; a lack of distinction between consumptive and non-consumptive use; and the importance of tenure in natural resource management. For CWM to continue to develop in the area, a need for more supportive policies is needed - allowing further devolution of authority to the community level, access to resources and a removal of economic distortions that favour other forms of land use, such as cattle. The process of producing such policy needs to be speeded up, if a loss of incentive and participation in CWM is to be prevented.

1561 8382
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